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New study shows spraying new ice over Antarctica may battle rising sea levels

Jul 18, 2019, 10:39 am

In the wake of the threatening results of the inevitable climate change, a new study has shown a new path regarding how the coastal cities may be saved from the rising sea levels.

climate change, a new study has shown a new path regarding how the coastal cities may be saved from the rising sea levels.

According to the study, published in the journal Science Advances, spraying trillions of tons of snow over west Antarctica could halt the ice sheet’s collapse. In order to do so, the project would need at least 12,000 wind turbines to power the seawater pumps and snow cannons, and it would, in fact, destroy a unique natural reserve. Pumping new snow would replace the thin ice and would make it thicker again.

The scientists are not pursuing this absurd project and for good reasons. The study also shows that the only way to tackle such a major change would be ending the fossil fuels burning. However, the loss of ice from the Antarctica region has been so dire that our planet seems to be beyond help. The rapid rise of the sea level would render major cities like New York, Kolkata, Shanghai below the sea level.

As scientists, we feel it is our duty to inform society about every potential option to counter the problems ahead. As unbelievable as [the proposal] might seem, in order to prevent an unprecedented risk, humankind might have to make an unprecedented effort. – Prof Anders Levermann, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany

He further added, “The effort needed would be huge, like an Antarctic moon landing. It is up to society to make this choice – it can’t shy away from making decisions.” “Even if we keep the Paris agreement [target of 2C above pre-industrial levels], we will get five meters of sea-level rise,” he said. “I think people haven’t really entertained the real consequences of this. Either you abandon these coastal cities or millions of people live by a wall behind which is the world’s oceans, above your head, like the sword of Damocles.”

The study showed that it would need about 7.4 tons of water over 10 years to achieve the stabilization of the ice sheet. The estimated cost of such a huge project is not known yet. Prof David Vaughan, director of science at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and not part of the research, said: “Scientists have an important role in testing, and challenging ‘climate fixes’. I think [Levermann and colleagues] tread the tightrope well, examining and challenging this idea without becoming advocates. Indeed, they are careful to point out the severe side effects.”

However, the reduction of greenhouse gases still remains the be-all-and-end-all of battling climate change.

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